Another double bagel for Sharapova

Sportal January 16, 2013, 7:31 pm
Maria Sharapova

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Maria Sharapova continued her red-hot form while Agnieszka Radwanska extended her winning streak to 11 matches on day three of the Australian Open on Wednesday.

Sharapova barely raised a sweat as she produced her second double bagel in a row to rout Japan's Misaki Doi 6-0 6-0 in just 47 minutes on Hisense Arena.

The second seed has now won 24 games in succession after strolling past Olga Puchkova by the same scoreline in the first round.

Doi, playing her first Australian Open, was never in the contest as Sharapova simply overwhelmed the 21-year-old from the back of the court.

The Russian is the first player since Wendy Turnbull at the 1985 Australian Open to win back-to-back matches at a grand slam with a double-bagel.

Fourth seed Radwanska also cruised into the third round as she comfortably accounted for Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3 6-3 in one hour, 26 minutes at Rod Laver Arena.

Unbeaten this year after title wins in Auckland and Sydney, the Polish world number four never hit top gear but still eked out the win.

The Romanian, ranked 55th in the world, broke in the very first game of the match but was unable to maintain the momentum as Radwanska reeled off five straight games to take a stranglehold of the first set.

A slight wobble allowed Begu back into it before Radwanska closed it out 6-3.

Begu appeared to struggle with a shoulder injury and called for a trainer at the change of ends.

That allowed Radwanska - a three-time quarter-finalist at Melbourne Park - to take full advantage, breaking in the opening game of the second set.

Begu attempted to force a comeback as the pair traded service breaks but the Romanian's unforced error count continued to climb as Radwanska sealed victory with a volley.

"I'm very happy to be playing my best tennis at the start of the year," Radwanska said.

"It's always great to win in two sets."

There was heartbreak, however, for local hope Samantha Stosur, who blew a 5-2 lead in the third set to lose 6-4 1-6 7-5 to Chinese Zheng Jie.

Fifth seed Angelique Kerber overcame a slow start to also advance to the third round with a 6-3 6-1 defeat of Lucie Hradecka.

Kerber, who turns 25 on Friday, lost her opening service game but eventually found her mojo as the Czech handed her the first set with a double fault.

The German, who had a breakout year in 2012 by reaching the semi-finals at Wimbledon and the last eight at the French Open, then raced through the second set in just 22 minutes to set up a clash against American wildcard Madison Keys, who ousted Austrian 30th seed Tamira Paszek 6-2 6-1 in just 65 minutes.

Keys, 17, put in a measured performance as she ran Paszek all around the court, racking up 23 winners to six and closing out the match with an ace.

Sixth seed Li Na worked harder than expected for her 6-2 7-5 win over Bulgaria's Olga Govortsova.

Li, runner-up at Melbourne Park in 2011, cruised through the first set in 33 minutes before Govortsova found her range to take a 4-2 lead in the second set.

But that was where the world number 58's resistance ended, as the Chinese star won five of the next six games to earn her place in the last 32 against 27th-seeded Romanian Sorana Cirstea, who fought back to beat Czech Kristyna Pliskova 1-6 6-3 6-2.

French 11th seed Marion Bartoli was untroubled in her 7-5 6-0 win over Serbia's Vesna Dolonc, while German 18th seed Julia Goerges won through with a comfortable 6-3 6-2 win over Switzerland's Romina Oprandi, and 19th-seeded Russian Ekaterina Makarova eased past France's Stephanie Foretz Gacon 6-3 6-3.

Serbian Ana Ivanovic, seeded 13th, advanced at the expense of Chan Yung-Jan, surviving a poor second set to win 7-5 1-6 6-4 against her Taiwanese opponent.

Former world number one Jelena Jankovic, the 22nd seed here, overcame a slow start to defeat Portugal's Maria Joao Koehler 2-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 but the news was not so good for fellow seeds Dominika Cibulkova and Klara Zakopalova, who both exited the tournament.

Cibulkova, the 15th seed from Slovakia, was upset 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 by Russian qualifier Valeria Savinykh, while number 23 Zakopalova was thumped 6-1 6-0 by Belgian Kirsten Flipkens.

Flipkens broke six times throughout the match to advance past the second round of the Australian Open for the first time in five appearances.

Great Britain's Heather Watson staved off three match points before powering past Kazakh Ksenia Pervak 4-6 7-6 (9-7) 6-2 in just over three hours.

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